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Surviving first motorcross race wasn't as easy as I thought

April 26, 2013

BARNES' BIGGIE — Vaughn Barnes caught this 24-pound striper recently on Lake Ouachita near Mount Ida, Ark. Photo by Danny Love

We made it through our first motorcross race Sunday at RaceDay Park Mx. I thought it would be easier since I've been practicing. Boy, was I wrong — in fact, I think I got a little slower. I've got to practice more so I can pick up the pace.
When I got at the starting gate, one of my coaches, Jerry Chamberlain Jr., was talking to me, telling me what to do. My heart was beating so fast it could have run the race. Jerry had me so pumped up I thought I was a professional rider.
I looked down at my tire just for a nano-second, and the gate dropped. I was a little late out of the blocks, but thank goodness for that, however. When we racers got to the first turn, two of them went right over the first curve and landed right in front of me! I tried to catch up, but all the riders were flying around me so fast that by the third lap my mouth was open and I was gasping for air. My forearms were burning and locked up tighter than Dick's hat bands. My pinky fingers were numb, and my legs were on fire. My stomach muscles felt like I had just done 150 sit-ups.

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